The Kathy Fiscus Tragedy Transfixed the World. Seven Decades Later, I Can’t Let It Go

A California Historian Can’t Shake His Obsession With the 1949 Death That Became the First Live, Breaking News TV Spectacle

I can walk from my home to the area where Alice Fiscus stood in the kitchen chatting with her sister Jeanette on that fateful late afternoon of April 8, 1949. The landscape is changed now. But with luck, a good map, and a historic photograph, I can get within ten feet of where Alice looked out that window and first realized that her youngest child had disappeared. I have tried it before, and I feel like trying it again as I write this. Right there, at the mouth of an …

Ending the Disinformation Era | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Ending the Disinformation Era

In an Age of Distrust, Local Media Is Our Secret Weapon

After an election, an attempted insurrection, and a transfer of power defined in part by a massive amount of disinformation, what would it take to get Americans to begin trusting …

Why Americans Are Afraid to Talk to Reporters

They Fear Backlash From Their Neighbors, and Are Wary the Media Will Exploit Them

It’s been a landmark year for ordinary citizens in the news. Without the hurricane survivors, student protestors, mass shooting victims, and sexual abuse survivors who agreed to speak to reporters, …

Art Can Help Us Understand Reality, Even While Transforming It

It Crafts Beauty and Truth from Mundane—Sometimes Ugly—Daily Existence

In their different ways, David Simon and Jamel Shabazz both have transformed gritty reality into art, drawing inspiration from the complex, often troubled urban-scapes of places like New York, …

Facebook Could Fix Our Local News Problem

The Media Behemoth Is Perfectly Positioned to Lead Investment in Civic-Minded Journalism

Facebook may not be quite ready to stand up and say the words, “My name is Facebook and I’m a media company.” But it has begun to accept that its …

Fake News Won’t Kill Democracy

Digital Journalism Is Challenging Journalists and Society, but There Are Reasons to Be Hopeful for the Future

The world now confronts a bitter irony: the democratization of information has proven not to be all that good for democracy.

That provocative observation, offered by moderator and Zócalo Public Square …